The Invisible Cover

Have you heard about a new invention: the invisible cover? Wrap it around any object, and that object disappears.

Last week, in the news, I read about a new invention: the invisible cover. Wrap it around any object, and that object disappears. While presently, it is in a micro-, or even a nano-stage, just think of the possibilities it entails, the havoc it can wreak, and the major social and cultural headaches it can cause. Soon, an attending will be able to watch his or her residents under the cover without being seen. You will be able to observe how your staff functions while you are supposedly not there or watch your disability candidates to see how disabled they are in reality. You will have the means of observing some of the pain killer medicine seekers for secondary gain and getting inside information about pseudo seizures. There could be other, even more exotic possibilities that are beyond the scope of this blog. What surprised me, thought, was that the invisible cover is being touted as a new discovery, a major breakthrough, while we all know of things in healthcare which supposedly exist, but disappear when you reach for them.

Let me elaborate. My aunt is a pediatrician in White Plains, New York. Her years of chasing around after sick kids are now catching up to her, in the form of arthritic pains in knees, to the extent that she is visibly limping. After NSAIDs and intra articular steroid shots failed, her orthopedic physician suggested intra-articular hyaluronidase. She has a HMO with “visible” benefits when needed. However, to her shock, these benefits suddenly disappeared when her HMO refused to approve the intra-articular hyaluronidase. As a physician, she thought she would be received with a better audience, and both she and her orthopedic physician appealed and called the utilization director. The result is all too familiar to us. The same rude awakening is received by thousands of patients every day. Far too much has already been written about this topic, and I am now pinning my hope to the “change” being promised by Washington’s expected new guards. Let us hope the healthcare moves beyond a for-profit business, and begins a long healing process. But again, at least two of the healthcare marshall plans have already met their nemesis, that of Hillary Clinton to hurricane Obama and of John Edwards to all too familiar ending for lot of political aspirants.